Are you one of the millions of heavier set people who have tried every diet: from dropping carbs to going vegan; exercise regularly (as much as your slimmer friends in any case…)…and yet still don’t seem to shift those last few kilos? Then you may be surprised to learn that your breathing pattern could just be the missing puzzle piece to effective and sustainable weight loss.
There’s a link to dysfunctional breathing patterns and weight control, and most of us have no clue how we sabotage our best workout unknowingly. While diet and exercise are some of the keys to good health – it’s how you breathe that could determine how much weight you lose (or gain).
In essence, we combine the food we eat with the oxygen that we inhale to create ATP (Cell Food) for our cells via a “combustion” process that releases energy and heat. The combusted by-product is Carbon Dioxide and water, and this needs to be effectively removed via the blood to the lungs for excretion in your exhaled breath.
The oxygen required to “burn” a gram of fat is 1.96 l/g, but the energy produced is 9.3 calories / kcal/g. When you compare that to the oxygen required to “burn” a gram of protein, at around 0.94 l/g which produces 4 kcal/g, or carbohydrates at 0.81 l/g also producing around 4.1 kcal/g you can see that there is a difference in how much energy each gram of our dinner actually delivers and how much oxygen is needed to extract that energy from our meals.
Despite common misconceptions that we “burn up fat” or it gets “converted” to muscle or that fat is “excreted” in feces, this is simply not the case. Even our understanding of “fat” is often wrong. In short: dietary sugars and proteins that are not used by the body immediately, can become converted to triglycerides in the body, and these triglycerides are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
Fats, like Triglycerides, require more oxygen to become metabolized for excretion. Once metabolized, fats create MORE Carbon Dioxide than other foods, (almost double that of metabolized proteins or carbohydrates), and this CO2 has to be effectively removed from the tissues in order to sustain weight loss. Why? Because once the triglycerides are oxidized, these atoms are excreted in our exhaled breath as CO2 and water. Triglycerides can clog up arteries and lead to further difficulties if they cannot be removed effectively from the bloodstream.
So, because breathing is how we get oxygen into our bodies – and oxygen is needed for the combustion part of our metabolic processes – breathing correctly matters! And because we literally breathe off most of our fat , breathing correctly is also vital for sustainable, effective weight loss and management.
So why not just do some deep breathing?
It’s easy to think that this means simple “deep breathing” or “breathing more air more often” will do the trick, but again, you would be mistaken.
Most of our energy production takes place at rest, but breathing in a way that uses auxiliary muscles while at rest (like deep breathing exercises) is a trigger for stress reactions in people who have dysfunctional breathing patterns. And while breathing more air increases oxygen intake into your lungs, it does not increase oxygen delivery to the cells… So what is the answer?
Enter: Clinically Normal Breathing:
For people who follow the same exercise routine and diet and are the same height as their slimmer friends but still can’t shift the pounds – restoring a Normal Breathing pattern; following a face to face assessment and client program that takes place over several days, may be the answer you have been searching for.
Using Buteyko practitioner guided techniques as taught by Buteyko South Africa, Buteyko Institute of Breathing and Health (BIBH) and Buteyko Scotland will go a long way to restoring your metabolism and helping you to maintain a steady, healthy weight for the rest of your life.
This is because breathing correctly IS correcting metabolism!
©Buteyko South Africa
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